Mestiza (Saga Covenant nº 1) (Spanish Edition)

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But that does not mean that it has as deep a cultural aversion to Labour as the north currently does to Tories. Southerners can be quite happy to vote Labour when they like what it offers—or at least many were in , when Tony Blair came to power. It argued that the party had to engage more actively with aspirant, middle-class southern voters. Policy Network, another think-tank, recently published an updated version. The regional divide seems likely to widen, and not just because many public-sector cuts are still to come.

Recent by-elections suggest that the decline in Liberal Democrat support will accentuate the gap by widening the Conservative lead in most southern seats and to a greater extent the Labour lead in the north. A right-wing party without the baggage of a Thatcherite past may complicate things further for northern Tories.

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And in various practical ways the regional split is self-reinforcing. Previous successes mean the parties have their ground troops—activists, councillors and constituency MPs—in the wrong places. In , for example, there were about as many Labour members in the five Manchester seats as in the 18 constituencies that make up Essex. But some way to surmount the problem has to be found if either party is to get a respectable absolute majority.

Though they will fight hard over seats in London and the Midlands—regions which have some of the post-industrial pallor of the urban north and some of the private-sector fizzle of the wider south—neither party thinks gains in those regions alone can win it an absolute majority. Labour, in turn, identifies a need to adapt to a larger private-sector workforce.

Such strategies may bear fruit in the long-term. Looking to the election, the tactics are simpler: show up. The Conservatives have hosted a cabinet meeting in Leeds and included a number of northern seats—Wirral South and Berwick-upon-Tweed, for example—on their list of targets worth serious resources. His practical prescriptions have much in common with those voiced by Conservative activists in the north.

Both groups want their party leaders to talk more about their region: Mr Denham urges shadow cabinet members to cite Southampton, Reading, or Exeter in their speeches; Mr Caldeira praises the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, for name-checking Liverpool in his. The talk needs to be accurate, though. Another good idea is to concentrate on voters with shorter political memories. Few older Liverpudlians will ever back the Conservatives, local activists admit. Some worthwhile investments take time to pay off.

In terms of immediate electoral benefit this is something of a long shot. But, argue the long-termists, such investments need to be made. Some have won as many elections—Tony Blair, for one. She left behind a brand of politics and a set of convictions which still resonate, from Warsaw to Santiago to Washington. What were those convictions? You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer.

When he had finished, Mrs Thatcher fished into her handbag to extract a piece of ageing newsprint with the same lines on it. And it was a fair summation of her thinking. Mrs Thatcher believed that societies have to encourage and reward the risk-takers, the entrepreneurs, who alone create the wealth without which governments cannot do anything, let alone help the weak. A country can prosper only by encouraging people to save and to spend no more than they earn; profligacy and, even worse, borrowing were her road to perdition.

The essence of Thatcherism was a strong state and a free economy. For Mrs Thatcher, her system was moral as much as economic. Her beliefs were fine-tuned in the political struggles of the s and s. But in effect they changed little from what she imbibed at her home in Grantham, a provincial town in eastern England, where she was born in He was a member of the respectable middle classes, the petite bourgeoisie of Marxist derision.

As a town councillor for 25 years, Alderman Roberts, a devout Methodist, preached the values of thrift, self-help and hard work. Young Margaret, ever earnest, was inspired by his example. A clever girl and a hard worker, she took a degree in chemistry at Oxford, where she began to be active in Conservative politics. In order to get on in what was then a rather grand, aristocratic party, she started to distance herself from her humble origins, marrying a successful businessman, Denis Thatcher, who financed her political career.

Training as a lawyer and shopping around for a safe seat, she dressed and spoke as required: as a conventional upper-middle-class woman, with a nice house in the country and the children at posh public schools. She entered Parliament in for the safe seat of Finchley in north London, and quickly became a junior minister in Just as she left Grantham well behind, so the new post-war Britain was leaving its old values and politics far behind as well.

Building on the forced collectivism of the war years, the Attlee government embarked on industrial nationalisation and introduced the welfare state. To a generation of politicians scarred by the mass unemployment of the s, full employment became the overriding object of political life. Mrs Thatcher, like almost all ambitious politicians of her age, went along with this.

In doing so, they crowded out the private enterprise and economic freedoms that Conservatives were supposed to stand for. But they were derided as dangerous mavericks, and Mrs Thatcher, for her part, contented herself with climbing the greasy pole. Heath tried at first to inject a more free-market approach into economic management, but he was forced into a humiliating U-turn as unemployment passed the 1m mark. It was then that Mrs Thatcher became a Thatcherite. She was led there by Joseph, who argued that only a free-market approach would save the country.

These policies, extremely daring for , became her agenda for the next 15 years. Not only had Britain lost an empire; it was, by the mids, no longer even the leading European power. What Britain now needed was an urgent return to the values of enterprise and self-help. Thus Mrs Thatcher was reborn as a Grantham housewife. Out went the grating voice, hats and pearls of the aspiring Tory grande dame ; in came the softer voice, kitchen photo-opportunities in her apron, and endless homilies about corner-shop values and balancing the books. She read her Hayek which she was also prone to produce from her handbag , but it was her new populist style that made her a winner.

Mrs Thatcher won the Conservative Party leadership election of , defeating Heath by a fair margin. A woman had never held any of the highest posts in British politics before. It backfired; she loved it, and used it to her own advantage. But she was also cautious. Well aware that most of her party, let alone the rest of the country, did not support her new policies, she proceeded slowly, appointing her supporters to a few key posts, but otherwise doing little to suggest a radical break with the past.

Once in power, however, she revealed her true colours. Government spending was curbed to control the money supply, exchange controls were abolished and the currency was allowed to continue to float rather than joining the new European Monetary System —all decisive breaks with post-war orthodoxies. Industrial subsidies were cut, sending many firms to the wall. Against the background of a world recession, the result was a sharp rise in unemployment. By , when joblessness stood at 2. She was, for a time, the most unpopular prime minister on record.

Most of her colleagues expected her to retreat, but instead she ploughed on. The budget contained more spending cuts, further depressing demand, in the teeth of the recession; economists condemned her policies in a letter to the Times. This, more than anything, saw the birth of her reputation for ruthless decisiveness. With the economy still at a low ebb, her political fortunes were turned by the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands in April Shocked and angry, Mrs Thatcher launched a task force to re-take the islands, 8, miles away in the South Atlantic.

This, and the haplessness of the Labour Party under Michael Foot, won her a landslide second general-election victory in , which allowed her to press ahead with core structural adjustments to the economy. In began the great round of privatisations, in which behemoths such as British Telecom, British Gas and British Airways were sold off.

But her first target was organised labour, which had made the country ungovernable—in particular the National Union of Mineworkers NUM , led by Arthur Scargill. The inevitable showdown came when the NUM went on strike in Mrs Thatcher outlasted the miners, arguing that it was a battle for the right of management to manage over the arbitary use of union power, and her victory broke the unions for good. From a British perspective, it was the most important thing she ever did. Shoulder to shoulder. At the same time, she had not lost her talent for pragmatism. Yet in she put her feelings aside and signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement, devolving some power to Northern Ireland and preparing the way for a later peace settlement.

The success of her policies at home and abroad made her, together with Ronald Reagan, the most distinctive advocate of a revived capitalism in the world. Under her, the Anglo-American special relationship was an exercise in mutual adoration. She was a staunch cold-war warrior, lauded wherever she went behind the Iron Curtain as a herald of freedom, which she often was.

The third term culminated in personal humiliation, though not at the hands of the British electorate. Middle-class trade unions like the National Union of Teachers and august professional bodies like the British Medical Association argued that Mrs Thatcher was hell-bent on dismantling the welfare state even as real spending on the public sector rose. Many middle-of-the-road voters were now nervous, as well as rank-and-file Tory MPs. And their nervousness was increased by ever-sharper divisions in the party between Europhiles and Eurosceptics, which could no longer be papered over.

She used a clique of fellow-believers to design policy and sidelined backbench MPs. In October Nigel Lawson, her chancellor, resigned, infuriated that she was trying to undermine his policy of shadowing the Deutschmark. This led to a rapid succession of tactical mistakes that eventually persuaded her own party to sack her, an act of regicide that deeply shocked her and took the party a generation to get over. In November Geoffrey Howe, the last remaining giant from her Cabinet, resigned as deputy prime minister over her refusal to agree on a timetable to join a single European currency.

Michael Heseltine, her most charismatic foe from the left of her party, immediately mounted a leadership challenge. Mrs Thatcher won the first ballot, but not easily enough to avoid a second one. Her cabinet ministers eventually persuaded her to take a bullet for the good of the party. Her combination of ideological certainty and global prominence ensured that Britain played a role in the collapse of the Soviet Union that was disproportionate to its weight in the world. Mrs Thatcher was the first British politician since Winston Churchill to be taken seriously by the leaders of all the big powers.

She was a heroine to opposition politicians in eastern Europe. But her readiness to work with Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, also helped to end the cold war. The post-communist countries embraced it heartily: by Russia had privatised some 18, industrial enterprises. India part-dismantled the licence Raj, and unleashed a cavalcade of successful companies. Across Latin America governments embraced market liberalisation.

Whether they did this well or badly, all of them looked to the British example. At home, her legacy was more complicated. Paradoxes abound.

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She was a true-blue Tory who marginalised the Tory Party for a generation. The Tories ceased to be a national party, retreating to the south and the suburbs and all but dying off in Scotland, Wales and the northern cities. Tony Blair profited more from the Thatcher revolution than John Major, her successor: with the trade unions emasculated and the left discredited, he was able to remodel his party and sell it triumphantly to Middle England. His huge majority in ushered in 13 years of New Labour rule.

She was also an enemy of big government who presided over a huge expansion of it. Her dislike of the left-wing councils that dominated many British cities was so great that she did more than any other post-war prime minister to bind local governments into an ever tighter net of restrictions. She had no time for the idea of elected mayors who united real power with real responsibility. Britain became much more like highly centralised France than gloriously decentralised America. Yet her achievements cannot be gainsaid. With the exception of the emergency measures taken after the financial crisis of , there have been no moves to renationalise industries or to resume a policy of picking winners.

Thanks to her, the centre of gravity of British politics moved dramatically to the right. The New Labourites of the s concluded that they could rescue the Labour Party from ruin only by adopting the central tenets of Thatcherism. Neither he nor his successors would dream of reverting to the days of nationalisation and unfettered union power.

The Lady still casts a long shadow. She was a divisive figure, and the issues that she addressed continue to confront and divide. The British state has gone on expanding after a period of continence. Deficits have exploded. The relationship between some companies this time banks rather than manufacturers and government has become too close. Margaret Thatcher and the -ism that she coined remain as relevant today as they were in the s. Correction : This article originally stated that Mrs Thatcher allowed the pound to float in In fact the pound was already floating, but Mrs Thatcher abolished exchange controls and chose to keep the pound out of the European Monetary System.

The article was clarified to reflect this on April 12th. NEVER in recent economic history have interest rates been so low for so many for so long. It is a safe bet that central banks in America, Britain, the euro zone, Japan and Switzerland will not be increasing short-term interest rates this year. Haruhiko Kuroda began his tenure at the Bank of Japan with a dramatic easing of policy on April 4th.

Mark Carney, the new boss at the Bank of England, has licence to ease, too. It would be hardly surprising if rates stayed at the low levels of the past four years throughout see chart 1. When rates were first cut to their current levels in , it looked like a temporary expedient; now it looks like normality. Businesses and investors are still adjusting to this new world. Big companies have taken the opportunity to borrow in the bond markets, locking in cheap financing for years to come.

But the cheap money has not led to the growth-igniting investment spree the monetary policy was designed to encourage. There are some signs of an economic revival in America. In such a world monetary policies are likely to stay loose—even though, in their desperate search for yield, investors are rediscovering a worrying appetite for the kind of structured debt products that many thought had disappeared for good after Low rates have some clear positive economic effects.

The Federal Reserve has been buying mortgage-backed bonds as a way of forcing down yields and thus reducing the cost of home ownership. On March 29th the average rate on a year mortgage was just 3. It also encourages people to move. Existing-home sales were 4. In addition, , new American homes were bought last year, the first annual sales increase since Higher sales prompted homebuilders to get busy: in February, permits for future construction reached an annualised ,, the most since June More construction means more jobs for builders and more sales for timber yards and brick factories.

Houses are not the only things people spend more on when borrowing is cheaper. According to Equifax, Americans took out Total American car sales rose by The number of people employed making cars remains well below the 1. The number of people employed processing credit transactions is the highest for almost four years. Higher house prices have made people feel wealthier and more willing to spend. And untempered enthusiasms could be a danger. History offers plenty of prolonged periods of low interest rates that encouraged speculative booms, particularly in property.

In Thailand in the mids a property boom fuelled by cheap dollar loans ended in devaluation and disaster. In Spain and Ireland in the early s cheap euro-denominated loans resulted in another property bubble. Excessively low rates help to create bubbles because they allow investors to ignore the cost of financing and concentrate on the capital gains if their strategy works; they let people forget risk and focus too much on reward.

Encouraging the revival of a property market in the doldrums risks creating a boom that will simply lead to another bust. Bubbles may not have emerged yet.

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But if they do, the eventual task of returning to normal monetary policy will be made even more complicated. This time round, the appetite for high returns that low rates are meant to bring about has been slow to arrive. Investors were so shell-shocked by the impact of the banking collapse of that they stuck to safe assets.

But several years on, investors are getting more restless.


The key point is not that nominal interest rates are low. It is that, outside Japan, real after-inflation interest rates are negative—money stashed in a bank buys less when it comes out than it could when it went in. In the joke of Jim Grant, who writes a financial newsletter, instead of offering risk-free return they offer return-free risk. So the expectation of prolonged low real rates is, as policymakers hoped, edging investors down riskier paths. Corporate bonds were their first port of call. This demand for fixed-income investment has lowered borrowing costs for businesses.

Companies with a junk-bond single-B rating are able to borrow at a rate that is four percentage points below the post average, according to Citigroup, a bank, whereas a typical investment-grade company, ranked A, can borrow at 2. As a result many multinationals can borrow money more cheaply than European governments. Low rates have not just made life easier for some consumers and big companies by reducing their borrowing costs.

They have also allowed firms to substitute debt for equity. This usually boosts earnings per share, which makes it an attractive choice for executives motivated by share options. British ones spent 3. The trend has continued in Easy money also lets you buy other companies. Now that may be changing. Dell, a personal-computer company, announced a management buy-out, only to face the prospect of competing bids from Blackstone, a private-equity group, and Carl Icahn, a well-known investor. American Airlines and US Airways have announced a merger. Heinz, a foods giant. These high-profile takeovers and the strong level of buy-backs may be a sign of greater corporate confidence—particularly in America.

But it could also be a sign that companies are finding it hard to increase profits organically by selling more goods, or improving margins. But first-quarter profits were expected to be just 1. Another sign that growth may not be wholesome is the revival of the asset-backed security. When Americans borrow money to buy a car or a house, their debts are often repackaged as the backing for a bond. Before investors believed that such bonds were safe investments because large numbers of car buyers and homeowners were unlikely to default at once.

When the penny dropped, the prices of subprime securities plummeted. And there has also been a revival in the issuance of collateralised loan obligations CLOs. These act like mutual funds, buying a portfolio of loans and then selling portions of the portfolio tranches to investors. The different tranches reflect the different risks; the riskiest portions bear the first loss if the loans default. More than half of loans sold to non-bank lenders in January were covenant-lite, the highest proportion ever, said Morgan Stanley, a bank.

Another product to regain popularity is the commercial mortgage-backed security. Typically, property performs well when rental yields currently around 5. It would be better if low rates encouraged companies to put their money to work by building new factories and employing more workers. Companies certainly have the cash. In theory, low rates should persuade companies to boost investment. Businesses keep lists of projects they might want to finance based on their expected returns.

Whether they proceed with the project will depend on how impressively the expected return exceeds the cost of financing them. In practice investment, as a proportion of GDP, is lower than it was before the crisis in America, Britain and the euro area see chart 3. In America there are some signs that, as with the housing market, a recovery is beginning. With the outlook for economic growth still cloudy, it is hardly surprising that companies will be cautious about rushing into investment plans.

Companies have to worry about a lot of factors before approving a long-term project: the balance of supply and demand in their industry, the regulatory and political backdrop, the availability of skilled employees. Hurdle rates for investment projects change slowly. Eric Elzvik, the chief financial officer of ABB, a Swiss engineering giant, says the group has not materially altered its hurdle rate over the past three to four years.

This is no surprise to people watching Japan, where nominal interest rates have been near zero for a decade although real rates are positive and the absolute level of investment is no higher, in real terms, than it was in Businesses do not invest because the economy is weak; the economy stays weak because businesses do not invest. One reason for the reluctance of multinationals to invest their cash may be precautionary. After Lehman Brothers collapsed in the autumn of , the bank funding market dried up—a nasty shock for businesses. And unlike their bigger brethren, small and medium-sized companies cannot turn to the bond markets when banks keep their doors closed.

In the euro area, bank loans to businesses fell by 0. Richard Raeburn of the European Association of Corporate Treasurers says that, for smaller companies, any benefit from low official rates has been almost totally offset by higher lending margins charged by banks. This complaint is loudest in Hungary, Spain, Poland and France. Even where companies are increasing their capital expenditure, they may not be doing so at home. Emerging economies have grown faster than developed ones through the crisis and rich-world companies have shifted their investments accordingly. And there are some areas where the effect of low rates is unambiguously negative.

A final-salary pension is a promise to make a series of future payments, just like a bond. Accounting rules therefore use bond yields to value the future liability; lower bond yields increase the cost of the pension promise. A pension pot thus buys a much smaller income these days. The result is that corporate pension funds are running fast just to stay in the same place. The strain on corporate finances caused private-sector final-salary pension schemes to close at a record rate last year. Insurance companies face a similar issue. The return they get from investing money taken in as premiums before it is paid out as claims is a crucial part of their income.

Colin Simpson, an insurance analyst at Goldman Sachs, points out that general insurance companies have been lucky; the period of low rates has coincided with the absence of claims on the scale of those generated by Hurricane Katrina in Such luck can turn. Despite the problems for some sectors, and the inability, so far, of low rates to make life better for small and medium-sized companies, it seems highly unlikely that any of the big rich-world central banks will tighten monetary policy in the near future.

The risk of sending the economy back into recession is too great. The way in which investors and the corporate sector take advantage of those low rates will set the tone for the developed economy in the next few years. There may not be blood but there will almost certainly be bubbles. The upper ranks of the powerful civil service of the colonial Raj were largely Hindu, while Muslims were disproportionately represented in the army. On gaining independence the Indian political elite, which had a strong pacifist bent, was determined to keep the generals in their place.

In this it has happily succeeded. But there have been costs. One is that India exhibits a striking lack of what might be called a strategic culture. It has fought a number of limited wars—one with China, which it lost, and several with Pakistan, which it mostly won, if not always convincingly—and it faces a range of threats, including jihadist terrorism and a persistent Maoist insurgency.

That clout is growing fast. It has a nuclear stockpile of 80 or more warheads to which it could easily add more, and ballistic missiles that can deliver some of them to any point in Pakistan. It has recently tested a missile with a range of 5,km 3, miles , which would reach most of China. Strategic defence reviews like those that take place in America, Britain and France, informed by serving officers and civil servants but led by politicians, are unknown in India. The armed forces regard the Ministry of Defence as woefully ignorant on military matters, with few of the skills needed to provide support in areas such as logistics and procurement they also resent its control over senior promotions.

Civil servants pass through the ministry rather than making careers there. The main threats facing India are clear: an unstable, fading but dangerous Pakistan; a swaggering and intimidating China. One invokes feelings of superiority close to contempt, the other inferiority and envy. A recent attempt to thaw relations between the two countries is having some success.

The memory of the commando raid on Mumbai by Lashkar-e-Taiba, another terrorist organisation, is still raw. Much bigger and richer, India has tended to win its wars with Pakistan. Its plans for doing so again, if it feels provoked, are worrying. At a tactical level, this assumes a capacity for high-tech combined-arms warfare that India may not possess. At the strategic level it supposes that Pakistan will hesitate before unleashing nukes, and it sits ill with the Indian tradition of strategic restraint. Civilian officials and politicians unconvincingly deny that Cold Start even exists.

Others agree. In A. But not much happened. Talks between the two countries aimed at resolving the border issue have been going on for ten years and 15 rounds. In official statements both sides stress that the dispute does not preclude partnership in pursuit of other goals. But it is hard to ignore the pace of military investment on the Chinese side of the line. Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal of the Centre for Land Warfare Studies points to the construction of new railways, 58,km of all-weather roads, five air bases, supply hubs and communication posts. China would be able to strike with power and speed if it decided to seize the Indian-controlled territory which it claims as its own, says Mr Karnad.

Unable to match Chinese might on land, an alternative could be to respond at sea. China and India are both rapidly developing their navies from coastal defence forces into instruments that can project power further afield; within this decade, they expect to have three operational carrier groups each.

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An ocean needs a navy. They have been operating an aircraft-carrier since the s, whereas China is only now getting into the game. India now conducts more naval exercises with America than with any other country. It is buying the Rafales from France and upgrading its older, mainly Russian, fighters with new weapons and radars.

It is negotiating the purchase of six Airbus A military tankers and five new airborne early-warning and control aircraft. It has also addressed weaknesses in heavy lift by buying ten giant Boeing C transports, with the prospect of more to come. With the army training for a blitzkrieg against Pakistan and the navy preparing to confront Chinese blue-water adventurism, it is easy to get the impression that each service is planning for its own war without much thought to the requirements of the other two.

India lacks a chief of the defence staff of the kind most countries have. The government, ever-suspicious of the armed forces, appears not to want a single point of military advice. Nor do the service chiefs, jealous of their own autonomy. Ebooks and Manuals

The absence of a strategic culture and the distrust between civilian-run ministries and the armed forces has undermined military effectiveness in another way—by contributing to a procurement system even more dysfunctional than those of other countries. The end result of the CNMI policy is to have a minority population governing and severely limiting the rights of the majority population who are alien in every sense of the word. The Commonwealth shares our American flag, but it does not share the American system of immigration.

When the workers arrive in Saipan, they find their recruiter has vanished and there are no jobs in sight. Hundreds of these destitute workers roam the streets of Saipan with little or no chance of employment and no hope of returning to their homeland. There is something fundamentally wrong with an immigration system that allows the government of China to prohibit Chinese workers from exercising political or religious freedom while employed in the United States.

Something is fundamentally wrong with a CNMI immigration system that issues entry permits for and year-old girls from the Philippines and other Asian nations, and allows their employers to use them for live sex shows and prostitution. Finally, something is fundamentally wrong when a Chinese construction worker asks if he can sell one of his kidneys for enough money to return to China and escape the deplorable working conditions in the Commonwealth and the immigration system that brought him there.

There are voices in the CNMI telling us that the cases of worker abuse we keep hearing about are isolated examples, that the system is improving, and that worker abuse is a thing of the past. These are the same voices that reap the economic benefits of a system of indentured labor that enslaves thousands of foreign workers — a system described in a bi-partisan study as "an unsustainable economic, social and political system that is antithetical to most American values.

It was revealed that Chinese laborers in those factories suffered under what the U. Department of Labor called "slavelike" conditions. Levi Strauss claimed that it had no knowledge of the offenses, severed ties to the Tan family, and instituted labor reforms and inspection practices in its offshore facilities. In , Sweatshop Watch, Global Exchange, Asian Law Caucus, Unite, and the garment workers themselves filed three separate lawsuits in class-action suits on behalf of roughly 30, garment workers in Saipan.

The defendants included 27 U. By , they had won a 20 million dollar settlement against all but one of the defendants. In —, the issue of immigration and labor practices on Saipan was brought up during the American political scandals of Congressman Tom DeLay and lobbyist Jack Abramoff , who visited the island on numerous occasions. Congress has the authority to make immigration and naturalization laws applicable to the CNMI. Through the bill that we are discussing today, Congress is proposing to take this legislative step to bring the immigration system of the CNMI under Federal administration.

All of these victims were in the sex trade.

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Secretary Kempthorne personally visited the shelter and met with a number of women from the Philippines who were underage when they were trafficked into the CNMI for the sex industry. I]t is clear that local control over CNMI immigration has resulted in a human trafficking problem that is proportionally much greater than the problem in the rest of the U.

We believe that steps need to be taken to protect women from such terrible predicaments. We are also concerned about recent attempts to smuggle foreign nationals, in particular Chinese nationals, from the CNMI into Guam by boat. A woman was recently sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to smuggle over 30 Chinese nationals from the CNMI into Guam. A movement to federalize labor and immigration in the Northern Marianas Islands began in early A letter writing campaign to reform CNMI labor and immigration was debated in the local newspapers.

Worker groups organized a successful Unity March December 7, Sixty percent of the population of the CNMI is contract workers. They are not represented, and can be deported if they lose their jobs. Meanwhile, the minimum wage remains well below that on the U. In John Bowe 's book Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy , he provides a focus on Saipan, exploring how its culture, isolation and American ties have made it a favorable environment for exploitative garment manufacturers and corrupt politicos.

Bowe goes into detail about the island's factories, and also its karaoke bars and strip joints, some of which have had connections with politicos. The author depicts Saipan as a vulnerable, truly suffering community, where poverty rates have climbed as high as 35 percent, and proposes that the guest worker setup, by allowing many native islanders to avoid work, has actually crippled the competitiveness and job readiness of the native population. Goodridge , provides the only known first-hand account of factory work conditions and life in the barracks, a historical timeline of the garment factory era on Saipan, and provides revealing insights from a Chinese perspective into the experience typical of many of the garment factory workers on Saipan.

In addition, many homes and small businesses augment the sporadic and sometimes brackish water provided by CUC with rainwater collected and stored in cisterns. Most locals buy drinking water from water distributors and use tap water only for bathing or washing as it has a strong sulfur taste. According to the United States Census , [35] Saipan's population was 48,, a drop of Large numbers of Filipino, Chinese, Bangladeshi, Nepalese and smaller numbers of Sri Lankan and Burmese unskilled workers and professionals migrated to the Northern Mariana Islands including Saipan during the late s mostly during the s and s.

According to the United States Census , Saipan was The majority of the native Chamorro and Carolinian population are Catholic. Probably an equal portion of people on the island are foreign contract workers, mainly Catholic Filipinos. Numerous Christian churches are active in Saipan, providing services in various languages including English, Chamorro, Tagalog, Korean and Chinese.

In conjunction to the rest of the Northern Mariana Islands, there are Chinese and Filipino Protestant and Catholic churches, a Korean Protestant church, two mosques for the Bangladeshi community and a Buddhist temple. Public high schools:. Eucon International College is a four-year college that offers degrees in Bible and Education. Saipan was a major part of the plot in the Tom Clancy novel Debt of Honor. Key to Gabaldon's success was his ability to speak Japanese fluently due to having been raised in the s by a Japanese-American foster family.

A significant part of the novel Amrita by Japanese author Banana Yoshimoto takes place in Saipan with regular references to the landscape and spirituality of the island. Saipan is the setting for the P. Kluge novel The Master Blaster. This novel is structured as first-person narratives of five characters, four of whom arrive on the same flight, and the unfolding of their experiences on the island.

The book weaves together a mysterious tale of historical fiction with reference to Saipan's multi-ethnic past, from Japanese colonization to American WWII victory and the post-Cold War evolution of the island. The Master Blaster is the home-grown anonymous critic who blogs about the corruption and exploitation by developers, politicians, and government officials.

Saipan is also known in the association football community as the site of the training camp for the Republic of Ireland national football team prior to the FIFA World Cup in which an incident of heated argument occurred between then-captain Roy Keane and then-manager Mick McCarthy which eventually led to the dismissal and departure of Keane from the squad.

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This incident has come to be known colloquially as "the Saipan incident" or "the Saipan saga". Saipan seen from the International Space Station. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Saipan disambiguation. American island in the Mariana Islands. See also: Northern Mariana Islands status referendum. United States portal.

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